We Live in Public (4 stars)

We Live in Public

(15) 89min

Sundance favourite Ondi Dig! Timoner’s documentary unearths a very curious piece of recent cultural and media history. Josh Harris was the internet pioneer during the dot.com boom of the 1990s, he set up Pseudo.com - the first internet television network. Harris was also interested in the relationship between media, technology and personal identity and helped finance a series of research/art experiments based on the then outrageous Orwellian concept of a Big Brother style live streaming the day to day activities of various individuals (including Harris himself). Harris correctly believed that one day a large majority of internet users would be willing to trade their privacy for recognition and celebrity. Harris’ experiment was to cost him his relationship and his career.

Timoner’s fascinating documentary is a commendable piece of anthropology. Part businessman, part experimental bohemian, Harris is an intriguing conundrum — who like Warhol before him — seemed to know what was coming, but knew no one would listen. Surprisingly few extras.